Vijaya Murugan's Cocktail, now streaming on Zee5, is a crime-comedy-thriller which has all the finesse of a high school skit that mistakes alliteration for humour. And that's being generous.
Four friends get drunk in a flat and wake up to find a dead woman in their midst. Meanwhile, there's a criminal trying to sell an ancient Murugan statue illegally. The two plot lines intersect after about a thousand "jokes" along the lines of "Somalia sotta thala", "Facebook-la facey llama irukanga" and so on, which are about as funny as a cat scratching one's eyeballs.
Yogi Babu plays Don, one of the drunk friends. He runs a salon called Pullingo (so funny‚Ä¶ not). Anbu (Mithun Maheshwaran), Agie (short for 'agent'), and another character who's referred to by a variety of names including 'karpanpoochi' (KPY Bala) are the other friends.
Right from the beginning of Cocktail, you realise that this is one of those leave-your-brains-out sort of films. But even if you oblige, the rest of your organs still scream in protest. The women characters could have been houseflies who come and go, and it wouldn't have made any difference.
There's also a cockatoo in the film which seems to have been included only so it could be titled Cocktail (apart from the fact that it's a drink-induced-disaster). Usually, people come up with a story and then title their films, but I found myself wondering if it had happened the other way around here. That's the only explanation for the completely senseless storyline.
Characters go around speaking their "mind voice" loudly, the actors hamming their way through. Romance tracks and songs are thrown in to make an already painful experience worse. There's absolutely no tension built into the "mystery". Even when there's an opportunity to build some suspense, the director's impulse is to swat it with an iron hammer and insert a joke in its place.
'Comedy' scenes are stretched beyond bearable levels. There's sarakku comedy, ayah comedy, wife-cheating-on-husband comedy, husband-cheating-on-wife comedy, rape comedy, several dull references to star vehicle films in a desperate bid to get the audience to cheer ‚ÄĒ it's a veritable menu of comedy with not one joke worth a repeat order.
Bizarre comedies where the narrative doesn't take itself seriously for a moment can be great fun to watch. But the problem with Cocktail is that the humour is not just crass, it's dead as a dodo. Perhaps Dodo would have been a more befitting title for the film.
Watch the trailer of Cocktail here:
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.